Flames Claim Joey MacDonald

Kent Wilson
February 11 2013 10:47AM

 

joey macdonald

pic Via Alfred Reloaded

Word on the twitter is the Flames have claimed Detroit Red Wings backup Joey MacDonald off of waivers. The 33-year old has bounced around the majors and minors over this career, most recently with Leafs and Red Wings. With 100 games of NHL under his belt, MacDonald is definitely older and more battle-tested than either Irving or Taylor. On the other hand, his career SV% of .903 in the show and only marginally better results in the AHL suggest he probably isn't much better than the rookies.

This suggests a couple of things:

1.) Kipper is out for longer than what the team is letting on.

2.) The guys in charge aren't terribly confident in either Irving or Taylor to carry the ball.

Point number two is fair, although I'm not sure how or why Joey MacDonald adds much comfort. Sure he's older and has more experience, but that additional information has told us he's really not all that good a goalie. The only thing I can really stick this decision to is the typical anxiety decision makers get in handing over meaningful minutes to untested commodities like the Flames current goaltending duo. 

The addition of MacDonald also means the club is scraping up against the 50-contract ceiling (49). That's not a terribly big deal right now, but does cut down on the org's flexibility should other issues or opportunities pop up later.

Expect one of Taylor or Irving to get re-assigned to Abbotsford as early as today in response to this move.

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Former Nations Overlord. Current Fn contributor and curmudgeon For questions, complaints, criticisms, etc contact Kent @ kent.wilson@gmail. Follow him on Twitter here.
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#1 jakeryley
February 11 2013, 10:53AM
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If they didn't have faith in Taylor or Irving - they should have gone out and signed a UFA goalie. There is no way MacDonald becoming available should have changed any sort of plans for Flames management, he's an aged back-up.

For this to make any sort of sense to me, Kipper's injury must be more severe than originally thought.

...otherwise it just looks like a GM with no actual plan, because again - giving Taylor a deal and then 2 days later claiming a goalie of no consequence is bizarre.

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#2 Vintage Flame
February 11 2013, 10:57AM
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This move is puzzling to say the least..

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#4 suba steve
February 11 2013, 11:07AM
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Yeah, this makes little sense to me. Even if Kip is out for the season, MacDonald doesn't sound like an upgrade on what they already have. Hope they know what they are doing, I imagine they do? Little cost, so low risk. Also, I guess injuries happen, if Irving or Taylor go down they would be scrambling again.

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#5 Ryan Pike
February 11 2013, 11:09AM
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MacDonald is a reliable veteran and his stats haven't wobbled around that much, but he's bounced around the league a lot (with stops in Detroit, Boston, Long Island and Toronto).

His trade value in recent years was a 7th rounder, which makes me wonder how he's much of an upgrade over Irving, Karlsson, Taylor or any of the other back-up options.

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#6 TheRealPoc
February 11 2013, 11:10AM
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This isn't really hard to decipher, imo. MacDonald wasn't on waivers when they signed Taylor, and Feaster had no intent to give up an asset to enter the backup market. In the meantime, Irving's let in some painfully soft goals. If their pro scouts believe MacDonald's an upgrade at backup over Irving, so be it. That option wasn't available last week, now it is.

Kiprusoff and Cammalleri both activated for Dallas on Wednesday night, Taylor and Irving go down to Abby to accommodate their returns, MacDonald becomes the backup. Unless I'm missing something here?

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#7 Parallex
February 11 2013, 11:18AM
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Did Detroit just want rid of him and his spot on the reserve list or did they want him in the AHL? Just wondering if once Kipper is back we could trade one of MacDonald, Taylor, or Irving back to them.

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#8 Rain Dogs
February 11 2013, 11:18AM
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This is really a reflection of poor asset management and assessment.

The Flames fans and ownership have either exalted Kiprusoff to the status of a infinitely durable god, or deemed him a easily replaceable average goalie.

The reality is he's a .925evsv% goalie (which places him the in top ten of active goalies since he arrived in Calgary) He's 36 and has played more games than any than any other goalie since the last lockout. I'm one of the biggest "believers" in what his stats demonstrate, but he will be/can be here and gone like any other star player.

However, the reluctance for those involved in Flames-land to acknowledge the massive gap between Kipper and cumulative body of work of all the other goalies who have backed him up (unless we pick individual small samples) has got us to this inevitable point.

We have no legit #2 goalie, we haven't given any prospective #2 sufficient playing time, and we haven't had a good contingency plan for years. Signing MacDonald is a reflex plan, lacking vision.

Kipper wasn't giving us reason to miss him with those first 5 games, but that may change quickly.

Acquiring a legit #2 (think what Schnieder is to Luongo, Bernier to Quick, Rask to Thomas) should have been dealt with long ago.

And that's all a damn shame, because I'll give credit where it's due, the current brass seem to have a promising thing going this year (we'll see) with the team and it's "system". It'd be a further shame if this year fell to pieces due to a shortened season and an injury. Unless of course your only hope is a high draft pick.

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#9 Monaertchi
February 11 2013, 11:20AM
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This smells like panic to me. Signing an older, more experienced, and not-better version of what you already have seems to be useless.

What is the point? Even if Kipper is out for the season, you don't even know for sure if either goalie you already have is better or worse than Joey. If only one of the current guys turns out to be even just as good as Joey, not to mention better, then all they've done is waste some $$ and 1 contract. If at some point in the future the Flames discover that both Irv and Tay are worse than Joey, the chances that Joey has become unavailable and that any other goalie of his ilk is unavailable is slim to none (and Slim just left town - bazinga!).

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#10 CDB
February 11 2013, 11:22AM
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I'll wait to reserve judgement but this doesn't make much sense to me. Look at the teams that have jettisoned Macdonald in his career. Not exactly goaltending powerhouses, and they didn't view him as worthwhile.

Irving, through 4 periods has been good. Maybe 1 Columbus goal he'd like back. Other than that, those 4 periods have been better goaltending than Kip provided before he went down. Little surprised in the lack of faith shown after a Vancouver game that could have been 10-1 had he not stood on his head.

Doubt this has much to do with a trade, as all 3 of the marginal backups we now have have been available for nothing in the past month. Maybe Kippers knee isn't progressing as was thought it would. Still would have liked to see Irving and Taylor run with it. Find out what we have in these guys over Macdonald who has seen his share of NHL time with no meaningful change in numbers.

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#11 T&A4Flames
February 11 2013, 11:26AM
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Maybe it's all in preparation for a Kipper trade later this season? Kipper to WSH, CHI?

Otherwise, yea, the only thing that makes sense to me is that Kip is out longer than expected.

I still hope to see Irving and Taylor get a chance to go with it.

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#12 TheRealPoc
February 11 2013, 11:31AM
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Am I really the only person here who thinks of the 8 goals Irving's let in over 2 starts, the majority of them were pretty friggin' soft?

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#13 Steve
February 11 2013, 11:35AM
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The only way this makes sense to me is if they've found a way to turn one of their other goaltenders into a non-contracted asset.

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#14 FireOnIce
February 11 2013, 11:39AM
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Kipper skated today and appears close to returning apparently, so the whole "KIPPER'S DONE FOR THE SEASON" panicking can stop. Dunno how this move makes sense in that light though.

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#15 vowswithin
February 11 2013, 11:41AM
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Kent you might have to change the poll to include Macdonald ;-)

This is pretty perplexing to me..... I just hope this whole "we must win this year" thing doesn't get out of hand and picks go bye bye....

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#17 Rain Dogs
February 11 2013, 11:44AM
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@CDB

Little surprised in the lack of faith shown after a Vancouver game that could have been 10-1 had he not stood on his head.

There will never be a goalie stat for "it could've been 10-1" and once collective amnesia sets in... people will just look at his save percent. If it's not good (like in that game) he's a sieve.

There is an un-addressed statistical disconnect between what the team does in front, and what a goalie gets on the score sheet that doesn't exist for players. GlenX doesn't get a "should have scored 5", Iggy doesn't get a "skated 60% as hard as he should have"

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#18 Kevin R
February 11 2013, 11:45AM
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Feaster has made some astute moves, some excellent drafting and some very questionable decisions, although I should caveat these questionable decisions are on a low risk, lower $$$ basis. This move today has me totally baffled and I'm gonna rant so I can go to the game tonight in a better mood.

Why would he do this just after signing Taylor, with talk Kipper would be ready by Weds? Macdonald doesnt scream "now we have a goalie to lighten the load for Kipper". Why wouldnt we put Taylor in tonight & see what we have in him? I sense a bit of panick here. Surely Feaster made some phone calls to teams when Kipper went down, in fact when it happened, he just had to walk down the hallway & Detroit would have gladly taken that Chicago 7th rounder for Joey.

It seems to me that this is what happens when you overpay aging star players who get clobbered in PVP and you are spending to cap max on a non playoff team. The depth in critical positions becomes pathetic. Obviously, Feaster & Hartley has probably promised King & Ownership a playoff run koolaid with this group. Obviously they realize that going with 2 young goalies with game experience you can count on both hands is not going to get it done. Even if Kipper is back, he could reinjure his MCL or it could take hime several games to get back to his highend games. In shortened season, that spells disaster. The right thing here would be play the young goalies until Kipper is fully recovered & either they rise to the occasion or we become a seller in March.

I'm not a goalie but is this the kind of injury you rush a goalie back from? This doesnt make sense unless there is a bit of panick because of pressure to make the playoffs. If Taylor doesnt get in a game while Kipper is down because of this, I'll be choked.

Sorry rant done.

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#19 FireOnIce
February 11 2013, 11:48AM
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@Kevin R

Not sure if you noticed, but Kipper has had about 6 or 7 games to "return to his high end game" and still has yet to do so. Flames can't wait for Kipper to "return to form" - it's like hoping Jarome Iginla will score 50 goals by standing in front of the net like he used to. Not happening.

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#20 jeremywilhelm
February 11 2013, 11:54AM
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Haha. This is comical. That is all I have to say on that.

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#21 jeremywilhelm
February 11 2013, 11:56AM
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Hopefully they waive Taylor. By all accounts he's been getting lit up terribly in practice and the players have little faith.

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#22 McRib
February 11 2013, 12:06PM
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Irving hasn't looked horrible in the two games he has played in he is just not an NHL caliber goaltender. The goals that were scored on him were not weak goals necessarily but they were just decent NHL caliber shots.

Clearly Vancouver watched the game tape on him against Columbus, because they did the exact same thing by getting him to move laterally it causes him to lower his upper body and expose the top portion of the net.

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#23 vowswithin
February 11 2013, 12:09PM
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It would be cool if we had some sort of deal to send kipper out to, I duno Washington? :-) it would at least give some sort of sense to this move.

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#24 Bigfatflamesfan
February 11 2013, 12:10PM
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@TheRealPoc

I agree with this for the most part. I think he has let in a few softies, in both games. Having said that, I still think he was our best player on Saturday.

4 goalies under contract, 49 contracts, with 3 guys on IR. Somethings got to give.

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#25 Monaertchi
February 11 2013, 12:11PM
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jeremywilhelm wrote:

Hopefully they waive Taylor. By all accounts he's been getting lit up terribly in practice and the players have little faith.

Just curious, but what accounts would those be?

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#26 Rain Dogs
February 11 2013, 12:11PM
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@Kevin R

I'm not a goalie but is this the kind of injury you rush a goalie back from?

It depends. But I would say no. I don't think the organization will let Kipper play before it's safe to do so. But these injuries also can get in your head. I know from personal experience with a grade 2 MCL sprain.

The MCL is the ligament on the inside of your knee, and for a flexible, butterfly goalie... it takes a lot of stress. At 36 it can be a nagging injury. Thankfully Kiprusoff only had a grade 1 sprain (mild) and he's got resources, 10 fold what amateurs and recs like you and I don't.

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#27 Smitty
February 11 2013, 12:12PM
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Oh good. Yet another former Leaf to add to the team.

...though I suppose he's also a former Red Wing. We don't have a lot of those.

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#28 T&A4Flames
February 11 2013, 12:16PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

Poor Irving tonight. Probably going to start, with the knowledge that he's destined to be re-assigned the very next day.

Then he should play like he is going to give the management a reason to keep him.

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#30 the-wolf
February 11 2013, 12:18PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

Poor Irving tonight. Probably going to start, with the knowledge that he's destined to be re-assigned the very next day.

Yeah, imagine that. He gets a shutout and then gets sent down.

The thing that makes no sense is why sign Taylor then? The team could've grabbed any goalie akin to JM for nothing. In fact, that's what Taylor is. And Karlsson was.

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#31 McRib
February 11 2013, 12:19PM
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Honestly my money is on Danny Taylor to start tonight!! Irving just does not have what it takes to be an NHL goaltender. Why do first round NHL draft picks get so much leeway in the eyes of NHL teams??? Taylor has a 0.930 Save% and a 1.77GAA in Abby this season and Irving has a 0.871 and a 3.72. Please start the better goalie.

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#32 Sincity1976
February 11 2013, 12:19PM
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Kipper's slow start and recent injury put an exclamation mark over the head of Jay Feaster. I can imagine the boardroom 'what-if' discussion about alternatives if Kipper wasn't good to go at some point in the future.

MacDonald isn't ideal. But I don't think the Flames have any confidence in Irving and at least MacDonald has shown he can be successful in the NHL. He is also UFA next season making room for Ramo.

Personally I don't see him as a big step up on Irving. But the Flames clearly don't have faith in Irving. They had him on waivers a couple of weeks ago and they allowed him to play third string in Abby before that. I can't blame them to much. Irving hasn't done much to make this decision difficult on the Flames. He has been 'meh' in the AHL and shaky in the NHL.

And if they aren't keeping Irving past this season what is the point in risking wins on a developing goalie? Might as well get a known asset.

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#34 chillout
February 11 2013, 12:21PM
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@jeremywilhelm

You may be confused, particularly if you are talking about the first practice after they signed Taylor. That wasn't him, that was the camera man for flames tv that got lit up badly. They threw some pads on him since they had no backup that day. The flames definitely have no faith in him being their goalie. Could be why he's a camera man.

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#35 Monaertchi
February 11 2013, 12:22PM
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With regards to what @jeremywilhelm said, Taylor could indeed be getting lit up in practice, leaving MGMT worried that they only have 1 goalie right now.

Of course, if Kipper is going to be back on Wednesday, it still doesn't make sense.

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#36 Michael
February 11 2013, 12:25PM
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Can't say I know much about him, so it will be interesting to hear Feaster explain the pickup. One year left (2012-2013) on a $550K contract, so not much risk, and I guess it didn't cost us anything...still a bit of a puzzle. Muat be a real short term need for some expereince at goal...

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#37 McRib
February 11 2013, 12:31PM
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Monaertchi wrote:

With regards to what @jeremywilhelm said, Taylor could indeed be getting lit up in practice, leaving MGMT worried that they only have 1 goalie right now.

Of course, if Kipper is going to be back on Wednesday, it still doesn't make sense.

Why are we assuming its Taylor that is getting lit up in practice... Considering Irving has got lit up in the two games he has played. If anything this move tells me Irving is done, Taylor is in.

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#38 SeanCharles
February 11 2013, 12:33PM
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I dunno about this move but the more I think about it the more I think it has more to do with Taylor than anything.

By all accounts Taylor has looked pretty bad in pracice, so the Flames wanted a reliable #3 to fall back on in case...

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#39 Monaertchi
February 11 2013, 12:37PM
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@McRib

I'm not assuming he is, just saying that even if he is, the move still doesn't make sense to me.

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#40 Monaertchi
February 11 2013, 12:38PM
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@SeanCharles

Also, I still don't know what accounts we're talking about.

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#41 jeremywilhelm
February 11 2013, 12:39PM
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@Monaertchi

I can't remember who exactly. Either the guys on the Fan or Roger Millions. Saw it on twitter on Friday.

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#42 Monaertchi
February 11 2013, 12:41PM
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jeremywilhelm wrote:

I can't remember who exactly. Either the guys on the Fan or Roger Millions. Saw it on twitter on Friday.

Thanks.

Well, If Sportsnet guys (i.e. Flames mouthpieces) are saying a Flames player isn't good, he probably isn't.

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#43 McRib
February 11 2013, 12:42PM
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So here is the Breakdown on Joey MacDonald.... He is a 6'0" Butterfly style goaltender... Haha. He literally is just a more experienced Irving. When will teams learn that 6'0" goaltenders will never make it in the modern NHL, outside of the odd reactionary freakshow Tim Thomas type.

This pickup is bazaar considering the Flames haven't even given Taylor a start, he has earned as much. But it’s no surprise as the Flames have handled the goaltending situation horribly for years. Honestly if your backup never gets more than five games he is never going to produce.

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#44 backburner
February 11 2013, 12:46PM
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Ok... so who's getting traded?

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#45 jeremywilhelm
February 11 2013, 12:47PM
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It sounds a bit crazy but I was hoping for kipper to be injured longer. He has become a crutch for this franchise, and unfortunately he isn't a very sturdy crutch any longer.

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#46 Justin Azevedo
February 11 2013, 12:57PM
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stein's saying taylor's looked fine.

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#47 Kevin R
February 11 2013, 12:59PM
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Rain Dogs wrote:

I'm not a goalie but is this the kind of injury you rush a goalie back from?

It depends. But I would say no. I don't think the organization will let Kipper play before it's safe to do so. But these injuries also can get in your head. I know from personal experience with a grade 2 MCL sprain.

The MCL is the ligament on the inside of your knee, and for a flexible, butterfly goalie... it takes a lot of stress. At 36 it can be a nagging injury. Thankfully Kiprusoff only had a grade 1 sprain (mild) and he's got resources, 10 fold what amateurs and recs like you and I don't.

Thx man! I would think at 36 these ligaments can only be so durable when exposed to Kipper like mileage. Maybe he didnt feel great after the light skate this AM, maybe its something that wouldnt take much of a goal crease crash to reinjure. Now with Joey & Taylor have we become like the 21st oldest team in theleague now?

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#48 Lionlager
February 11 2013, 01:00PM
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Irving's time here is done it seems. I hope we can get something for him.

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#49 the-wolf
February 11 2013, 01:01PM
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Trade Karlsson, keep Irving, trade Karlsson, sign Taylor, sign Macdonald.

All of whom are basically on par with each other give or take a fraction of ability.

Now that's Flames Asset Management 101

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#50 t
February 11 2013, 01:02PM
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the-wolf wrote:

Trade Karlsson, keep Irving, trade Karlsson, sign Taylor, sign Macdonald.

All of whom are basically on par with each other give or take a fraction of ability.

Now that's Flames Asset Management 101

Let me edit that:

Trade Karlsson, keep Irving, sign Taylor, sign Macdonald.

All of whom are basically on par with each other give or take a fraction of ability.

Now that's Flames Asset Management 101

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